Thursday, May 16, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

In the Philippines, particularly in Metro Manila, it seems that many bakers selling from home have emerged in recent years.  Oh, I am not talking about just any baker and not just any home.  A lot of these homebakers are high society matrons who reside in the plush subdivisions of the metro.  Each Mrs. seems to have her own specialty such that Mrs. X is known for this cake, Mrs. Y is known for another cake and so on.  The system of ordering is simple - give them a ring to order, then on pick up day, you go to their house and a uniformed maid comes out the door to hand you your cake.  As you would expect, these cakes are more pricey than those bought at the big bakeshops and only those from the middle and upper classes could afford them.

One such lady baker is Mrs. Yulo.  To be honest, I don't really know who she is, but I do know that the Yulo surname = elite.  Mrs. Yulo's specialty, apparently, is the strawberry shortcake.  I say apparently because I have only read about it. I wonder if she herself bakes the cakes? I can only imagine an army of helpers around the kitchen who actually do the work for her! I have read about how great this cake is, how Mrs. Yulo uses imported strawberries and cream, and stuff like that. Her cake was even listed among the 10 best desserts in Manila (article written way back in 2005, but still).

Image credit: En Route
I have no way of knowing for sure.  But this is what I have gathered from the internet and what I have deduced just by looking at photographs.  My deductions may be wrong though.

Image credit, from top L clockwise: The Moving Couch Potato, SpotChuvaness, The Moving Couch Potato
1.  The cake is baked in a tube pan as there is an obvious hole in the middle. People say it is a sponge cake but I say, it is probably chiffon.
2.  The cake is frozen.  I've seen pictures with the strawberries either all icy-looking or at the point of thawing that they are already bleeding.
3.  The cake is very tall.  Chiffon cakes do bake tall in tube pans but what makes the assembled cake even taller is the amount of cream in between the cake layers and on top.  In some photos I've seen, the filling is as thick as the cake layer!
4.  There is nothing extraordinary with the way the cake is presented.  Just a pinkish cream with strawberry bits all over and 8 half strawberries around the edge.

My conclusion?  Unless Mrs. Yulo uses a special, secret ingredient, I see no reason why this cake cannot be replicated at your own homes.  If you have tried any of the chiffon cake recipes here and were successful, you will find this strawberry shortcake quite easy to make.  It is very similar to the Mango and Cream cake, basically just replacing the mangoes with strawberries. Simple but outrageously delicious.

Below is my strawberry shortcake.  I have arranged my photos in a collage similar to the one I have done with Mrs. Yulo's cake so you can see how twin-looking they are!


Now let's look at the comparison more closely, shall we?





So...would you rather spend a hefty amount of money buying this cake or would you dare try making it yourself?

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

VANILLA CHIFFON CAKE (recipe suitable for a 9x3 tube pan)

{A}
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons white sugar

{B}
¼ cup corn/canola oil
4 egg yolks, from large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

{C}
4 eggwhites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

{D}
6 tablespoons white sugar

Procedure:
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. In a large bowl, combine {A} well. Add in {B}. Beat with electric mixer or by hand until smooth and well blended.
3. In a separate bowl, beat {C} on high speed until frothy. Gradually add in the sugar {D} and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Gradually and gently fold in egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Pour batter into an ungreased 9" tube pan.
4. Bake for about 55 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan onto a glass bottle immediately and cool completely.
5. To release cake from pan, carefully run a thin knife around sides of pan and invert cake onto a large serving plate. **Tip: For easier handling, wrap your cake very well in cling film, then refrigerate overnight before frosting.

Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting:
2 cups whipping or thickened cream, very cold
1 250g bar of cream cheese, soft but still cold
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon strawberry extract/essence
a drop or two of red liquid food coloring
150g of strawberries, plus 8 pieces (preferably big ones) more for garnishing

*Make sure your mixing bowl and beaters for the whipped cream are all well chilled to achieve better volume.

Process the strawberries until they are turned into small bits. Do not puree.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Set aside.

In your chilled bowl and using clean beaters, beat the whipping cream, sugar, strawberry extract and food coloring until the mixture is quite stiff. Gently fold in the cream cheese then beat again at high speed for a few seconds or just until everything is well combined.  Be careful not to overbeat.  Carefully fold in the strawberry bits.


To assemble:

Cut the vanilla chiffon cake horizontally into three layers.

Place bottom cake layer (the wider end) on your cake board, cut side up. Spread and level some of the whipped cream onto the cake layer until it is about 1/2" thick.  Cover the hole as well. Place the next cake layer over the bottom layer and spread whipped cream in the same manner. Top with the last cake layer then frost the cake all over with the remaining whipped cream. Garnish the top with the strawberry halves.

That's it! Go ahead and give it a go.  You won't regret it.

19 comments:

  1. Just can say :
    YUMMI .......
    wonderful cake and I LOVE strwberrys!!!
    Hugs to you
    Claudia

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  2. It is strawberry season here in the U.S. I am going to try this recipe tomorrow. Yours looks much yummier to me than Ms. y's.

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  3. I love all your cakes! Please also make a cake tutorial with coffee crunch and chocolate mousse cake.

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  4. i can only trust your recipes! love them all! i hope you can clone max's caramel bar one day! i have this massive craving for it! cheers and more power!

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  5. Wow! Only generous and nice people like you would dare share the recipe. I have been desperately looking for a recipe of the Strawberry Shortcake as soon as I have tasted the ones served in Conti's but it was a fail. Then I realized that the strawberry shortcake I liked best is the one that is made of sponge cake, or cotton cake.

    So, so happy that I stumbled upon your blog, and so so happy that you were very nice to share what you know. If I were to write about making this cake in my blog soon, I will definitely give credit to you. Thanks!

    Ira

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  6. Hi! Can i use all purp cream (Nestle) instead of whippimg cream?? thanks!

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  7. Thank you! Hope your recipes come with instructional videos, too!

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  8. Hello Corrine! Thank you for willingly sharing your recipes with us. May i know if thia can be done in cupcakes? I just want to try making strawberry shortcake cupcakes. If its possible. Thanks as always!!!

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    Replies
    1. You can use the frosting here and top your cupcake with a strawberry but I suggest you perhaps use a vanilla cupcake recipe instead of the chiffon cake recipe here. Chiffon cupcakes tend to sink and I personally do not like them. Up to you though.

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    2. Hello Corrine. Thank you for the tip! May i also ask if i use your vanilla cupcake recipe, will the strawberry frosting (on this recipe) be of the same amount? Or do i need to half it since it will be too much for the cupcakes? Thanks again!!!

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    3. This frosting is enough for 24 cupcakes.

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    4. Thank you Corrine! I love all your recipes!!! You are such a blessing. God bless you, always.<3

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    5. Hi Corrine, it's me again. I'm so sorry for botherig you and i am so happy for your generosity on responsing with all my queries. However, i have another question to ask. First, whipping cream is kinda pricey here in PH. Can i substitute it to Nestle All Purpose Cream or to any other kind of substitute? And is it okay to ask you for a recipe for the regular chocolate buttercream frosting? Thank you so so much. I really appreciate your responses. God bless you always!

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    6. Yes you can use all purpose cream. Just be sure it's well chilled, otherwise it will not whip up.

      The only chocolate buttercream recipe I am using is here: http://pinoyinoz.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/triple-chocolate-cake.html?m=1

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    7. Thank you corrine! You're the best! :)

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  9. HI Corinne! Can this cake be frozen until ready to serve?

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    Replies
    1. I've never done that, sorry. I don't know how it will affect the taste and texture of the cake, frosting and the strawberries when they thaw.

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